Here is an overview of earthquakes around the world.

The United States Geological Survey describes an earthquake as “the shaking of the ground caused by a sudden slip over a fault. Stresses in the earth’s outer layer push the sides of the fault together. The stress builds up and the rocks suddenly slide, releasing energy in the waves that travel through the earth’s crust and cause the shaking we feel during an earthquake.”

Scientists have used the Richter scale for many years to measure earthquakes, but now largely follow the scale “moment magnitude scale”, which the USGS says is a more accurate measurement of height.

Major earthquakes since 2000

June 4, 2000 A magnitude 7.9 earthquake hits South Sumatra, Indonesia, killing around 103 people.

January 13, 2001 – A magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes near San Miguel, El Salvador, killing an estimated 852 people.

January 26, 2001 – An estimated 20,000 people are killed by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake centered in Gujarat, India.

February 13, 2001 – Another earthquake hits El Salvador, magnitude 6.6. It is estimated that three hundred and fifteen people were killed.

June 23, 2001 – An estimated 138 people are killed in Peru by an 8.4 magnitude earthquake.

March 3, 2002 – In the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, about 166 people are killed by a magnitude 7.4 earthquake.

March 25, 2002 – Another earthquake in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, this one with a magnitude of 6.1, kills 1,000 people.

June 22, 2002 – 6.5 magnitude earthquake hits west Iran, killing around 261 people.

February 24, 2003 – In southern Xianjiang, China, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake kills around 263 people.

May 1, 2003 – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits eastern Turkey, killing around 177 people.

May 21, 2003 – An estimated 2,266 people are killed by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in northern Algeria.

December 26, 2003 – A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits the city of Bam in southeastern Iran. About 31,000 people die in the quake.

February 24, 2004 – About 631 people are killed in Morocco by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake.

December 26, 2004 – A 9.1 magnitude earthquake hits the west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake and tsunamis generated by the earthquake kill 227,898 people in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Bangladesh. The earthquake releases an amount of energy equal to a 100 gigaton bomb and lasts between 500 and 600 seconds.

February 22, 2005 – A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits central Iran, killing at least 612 people.

March 28, 2005 – An 8.6 magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Indonesia, on the same fault line that caused a December 26 earthquake that triggered a deadly tsunami. At least 1,300 people are killed.

October 8, 2005 – A 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Pakistan. At least 86,000 people are killed.

May 26, 2006 – A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits Central Java, Indonesia, killing at least 5,749 people.

July 17, 2006 – A magnitude 7.7 earthquake hits Java, Indonesia, killing around 730 people.

August 15, 2007 – An 8.0 magnitude earthquake hits Peru, about 100 miles south of the capital Lima. Around 514 people are believed to have died.

May 12, 2008 – A 7.9 magnitude earthquake hits central China, killing more than 87,000 people.

October 28, 2008 – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Pakistan, killing around 166 people.

April 6, 2009 – A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits central Italy, killing 295 people.

September 29, 2009 – An 8.0 magnitude earthquake in the Samoa Islands kills 192 people.

September 30, 2009 – A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hits Sumatra, Indonesia, killing more than 1,000 people.

January 12, 2010 – A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes 14 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. USAID puts the death toll at around 230,000, but other estimates reach 316,000.

February 27, 2010 – An 8.8 magnitude earthquake hits central Chile, killing an estimated 547 people.

April 13, 2010 – A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hits China’s Qinghai province. About 2,968 people are believed to have died.

October 25, 2010 – At least 503 people die from a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off Indonesia and a subsequent tsunami.

February 21, 2011 – A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand. An estimated 181 people are killed.

March 11, 2011 – A magnitude 9.1 earthquake strikes near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, causing a gigantic tsunami. The quake’s epicenter was 231 miles from Tokyo. The total of confirmed deaths and missing is over 22,000.

September 18, 2011 – A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hits Sikkim, India, killing around 111 people.

October 23, 2011 – A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits eastern Turkey. The death toll is 604 people.

February 6, 2012 – A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hits the coast of Negros, Philippines, killing at least 113 people.

August 11, 2012 – Two earthquakes hit northern Iran. The first to hit is a magnitude 6.4 earthquake. 11 minutes later, a second earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 hits. At least 306 people are killed.

November 7, 2012 – A 7.4 earthquake off the coast of Guatemala kills around 139 people.

April 20, 2013 – An earthquake hits southwest China’s Sichuan province, killing at least 192 people. The USGS rates it at magnitude 6.6 and the China Earthquake Networks Center estimates it at magnitude 7.0.

October 26, 2015 – A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hits South Asia, killing at least 364 people and injuring more than 2,000 others. The epicenter is in northeastern Afghanistan, but most deaths – at least 248 – are reported in Pakistan.

The largest earthquakes from 1900 to the present day

May 22, 1960 – Chile, 9.5

March 28, 1964Prince William Sound, Alaska, 9.2

December 26, 2004 Sumatra, Indonesia, 9.1

March 11, 2011 – Honshu, Japan, 9.1

November 4, 1952Kamchatka, Soviet Union, 9.0

February 27, 2010Chile, 8.8

January 31, 1906Ecuador, 8.8

February 4, 1965 Rat Islands, Alaska, 8.7

August 15, 1950 – Assam, Tibet, 8.6

April 11, 2012 – North Sumatra, Indonesia, 8.6

March 28, 2005 – North Sumatra, Indonesia, 8.6

March 9, 1957 – Andreanof Islands, Alaska, 8.6

April 1, 1946 – Unimak Island, Alaska, 8.6

February 1, 1938 – Banda Sea, Indonesia, 8.5

November 11, 1922 – Chile-Argentina border, 8.5

October 13, 1963 – Kuril Islands, 8.5

February 3, 1923 – Kamchatka, Soviet Union, 8.4

September 12, 2007 – South Sumatra, Indonesia, 8.4

June 23, 2001 – Arequipa, Peru, 8.4

March 2, 1933 – Sanriku, Japan, 8.4

The deadliest earthquakes from 1900 to the present day

January 12, 2010 – Haiti – 316,000 killed (magnitude 7.0). Other sources report 230,000.

July 27, 1976 – Tangshan, China – 255,000 killed (7.5)

December 26, 2004 – Sumatra, Indonesia – 227,898 killed in earthquake and resulting tsunami (9.1)

December 16, 1920 – Haiyuan, China – 200,000 killed (7.8)

September 1, 1923 – Kanto, Japan – 143,000 killed (7.9)

May 12, 2008 – East Sichuan, China – 87,587 killed (7.9)

October 8, 2005 – Pakistan – 86,000 (7.6)

December 28, 1908 – Messina, Italy – 70,000 (7.2)

May 31, 1970 – Chimbote, Peru – 66,000 killed (7.9)

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